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Russian writer Irina Ratushinskaya (Mikhail Evstafiev)

Poet and author Irina Ratushinskaya was imprisoned in a labour camp for four years

Cardinal Zen (AP)

The cardinal said if the Vatican cannot get a ‘good deal’ from the Chinese government then it must walk away from negotiations

Mafia boss Bernardo Provenzano being escorted by a black-hooded police officer in 2006. (AP)

Mafia boss Bernardo Provenzano may have been able to quote scripture, but that’s no indication of his piety

Pskov-Caves Monastery, near Estonia: ‘A new world suddenly opened up for us’ (Wikipedia)

Everyday Saints and Other Stories is fascinating collection of tales about the Orthodox monks in the Pskov Caves Monastery

Iraqi Shiite Turkmens, mostly women and children, try to board an Iraqi Army helicopter aid flight bringing in supplies to Amirli, a town that has been completely surrounded by militants with the Islamic State group (PA)

Islamic State is seeking to bully the world

In the land of IS, terror is once again the order of the day

Patriarch Kirill doesn’t want large sections of his flock looking westwards

The Russian Orthodox Church cannot afford to alienate Ukrainians as it bids for primacy within the Orthodox world

Woman reads prayer book at Cathedral in Beijing (CNS)

When will governments realise that religion is not their business and should not ever be their business?

The 'absurd' billboard in America

The post-modern idea that there is no such thing as historical fact, merely historical interpretations, is wrong

Pope Francis shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a private audience. Below: The pair sit down for talks (CNS and video via Rome Reports )

Peace in the Middle East top of the agenda as Pontiff welcomes Russian President to the Vatican

Henry VIII (Kyodo)

The North Korean dictator is rather similar to the man who founded the Church of England